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5 Ingredients to Avoid If You Have Sensitive Skin

Watch out for these when you shop for beauty products
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It takes extra effort when caring for sensitive skin: Because in addition to worrying about clogged pores, oiliness, and breakouts, you never know what new product's going to set your skin off. Every time new holy grails trend in beauty communities, you've got to pause and think twice before you make a purchase. You can't just try new products and risk the balance that you're trying to establish in your skin.

And that's important: Being vigilant with the products you use is vital in taking care of your skin. One important step that you should never skip is checking the ingredient list. Most of the time, your skin's reactions (and overreactions) are caused by harsh chemicals and other irritating ingredients. So, to help you pick the best product for your skin, here are a few things that you might want to stay away from.

Image via Imaxtree

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Although alcohol is effective in clearing clogged pores, you might want to weed it out from your skin care regimen if you have sensitive skin. Aside from cleaning, it also strips off your skin's natural moisture which may lead to irritation and dryness. To know how much alcohol a product contains, check its order in the ingredient list: The higher the ingredient is on the list, the greater the amount used in the product. Take special care with products like toners, which often are made with a lot of alcohol (though these days, that's starting to change).

It's also worth pointing out that that there are certain types of alcohol that are generally considered sensitive skin-safe, such as cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol.

Want to avoid alcohol? Try: Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner, $7.99

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Fan of scented makeup and skin care products? Unfortunately, it's not always the best option for sensitive skin. Here's a not-so-secret secret: companies don't have to reveal the chemicals involved in producing that scent in your product — they can just mention "fragrance" in the ingredients list. You won't know for sure if there are chemicals in it that you are allergic to. If it happens that you're incompatible with the fragrance, it may lead to inflammation and irritation.

Besides, fragrance isn't really important for a product to be deemed effective or beneficial. Opt for fragrance-free formulas instead.

Want to avoid fragrances? Try: Aveeno Skin Relief 24hr Moisturizing Lotion, $7.03

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Many products use parabens to lengthen the shelf life of a product and prevent the growth of bacteria. But even if you don't have sensitive skin, we highly recommend that you use products that are paraben-free. Aside from irritating your skin, studies have shown that parabens may increase your risk of breast cancer. Yikes!

Want to avoid parabens? Try: EmerginC Kombucha Cleanser, $34

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Similar to alcohol, sulfates are harsh cleaning chemicals that can overstrip your natural oils and make your skin dry and itchy. Not generally something you want from your makeup and skin care product if you have a skin that needs extra TLC.

Don't worry about skipping all these effective-but-harsh cleansing ingredients. You've got alternatives like glycerin and other natural ingredients that will help you clear your pores.

Want to avoid sulfates? Try: Renee Rouleau Moisture Protecting Cleanser, $36.50

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